Pride Mates by Jennifer Ashley is the first book of a whole new series called Shifters Unbound. I am hopefully there will be many more books in the Shifters Unbound series. Mrs. Ashley has the ability to bring the plot to life with how well rounded and believable the characters are. This short has a wonderful flow to it. You want to see how the characters change and grow.
To most, they are animals—even when in human form. They are to be collared and kept on the fringes of society, scorned because they are feared, hated for their extraordinary powers. And attorney Kim Fraser has to go right into the heart of their lair. It’s her job to defend those in need. But there’s absolutely nothing defenseless about Liam Morrissey. His soft Irish lilt and feline grace can’t disguise his sheer strength. Nor can the silver chain at his throat, designed to control the aggression of his kind, completely reassure her that this man has been tamed.
Yet when a feral shifter begins to stalk them both, Liam is the only one she trusts with her life. She’ll let him claim her—for her protection, for her pride, and for a passion that knows no bounds.
Kim Fraser is an attorney who has been handed a murder case for Brian, the first shifter to even be charged with a crime since taking the fae-made collars. Kim is nervous and apprehensive about shifters. She believes she has done all the researched shifters and their ways, but upon arriving in Shiftertown she is somewhat frightened, but tries not to let her nerves get the best of her. Kim reminds herself throughout the book that Shifters are no longer the wild and reckless creatures that so many believed they once were. They still have limited rights and are discriminated against, but Kim is hoping that once she finds Brain not guilty that things will change. She sees this case as the case of a lifetime, and a career maker.
Kim arrives in Shiftertown to speak Liam is second in command of the alpha pack who she is sure can help her prove Brian’s innocents. Liam and Kim have an instant attraction, which puts Liam in a difficult position. Liam must choice between doing what Fergus the leader of the area’s shifters, or to do what he feels is right. Fergus wants Liam to be of no help to Kim and send her away. You can empathize with Liam, because everyone has been in that position. Liam starts sharing secrets about the shifters that he trusts Kim will never release to other humans. When Fergus gets wind of a human nosing around the shifters, he gets involved and things start to get messy. Liam will do anything to protect Kim, even if that means going up against his father and shifter law. Liam is a kind hearted man and does what he feels is best, even when he has to go up against those who are more powerful then him.
Dylan, Liam’s father and the alpha of Shiftertown lost his mate years ago and is now struggling with accepting a new love. Though he is only a supporting character through most of the book his character is believable and one you will come to like and want him to be happy. He is getting older and losing the edge he needs to stay dominant in the pack which Liam not meaning to takes advantage of.
Conner is another supporting character that I enjoyed. I think I related to because is the son of Liam’s brother who was killed by a rouge shifter. I understand what it is like to be raised by extended family. Conner never let it get to him that his uncles Liam and Sean, and his Grandfather Dylan were protective of him. Conner is very young, and eager to show off his skills, although he is strong and with time will hone his muscles, he is quick to temper and quick to show immature emotion. Conner was the opposite of Liam, which really played off well against the more mature, dominant males. Conner reminded me of myself, because he can be outspoken and not really worry about the consequences. I felt the Conner really represented a lot of young adults and their ways. He was very true to his age and maturity.
Thanks to Kim being handed Brain’s case she was able to see the truth about shifters. It made her become a more rounded person and realize what she wanted to do with her life. Before the case she never cared about having a serious relationship or starting a family, but that soon changes. Before you know it she ready for that relationship with Liam and leaves her law firm to open up her own law office to help shifters. I loved how Kim’s character developed throughout the novel, and you were able to see how much growth happened.